Hamilton managed to avoid a possible banana skin tie after eventually seeing off Queen’s Park at Hampden this afternoon.
Late goals from Ally Crawford and David Hopkirk sealed a victory for Accies in a game which had a touch of pre-season about it, despite this being the first round of the Ramsdens Scottish Challenge Cup.
Surprisingly, the Third Division outfit were the better side in the first-half and should have taken an early lead through either Craig White or Ian Watt who both had clear chances to open the scoring in the early exchanges.
Accies striker Derek Lyle, who recently re-signed for the club, had the best opening for the visitors in the opening half when he managed to get on the end of Grant Anderson’s cross; however, the ball stuck in his feet and rolled into the arms of goalkeeper Neil Parry.
After the break, Billy Reid’s men were by far the superior side and three substitutions on the hour mark made all the difference.
The introduction of James Chambers, Stephen Hendry and Willie McLaren seemed to inject some urgency into Accies and in 73 minutes, McLaren set up the opener.
A corner from the right was met by the head of Simon Mensing whose header was blocked on the line. Ally Crawford, though, was waiting on the loose ball and smashed it into the net for his first competitive goal.
Within 8 minutes, it was game over and this time it was David Hopkirk grabbing his first senior strike.
The midfielder managed to divert a mishit Anderson shot goalward and Parry could do nothing to stop the ball hitting the net.
Queen’s Park did manage a late salvo and the best save of the match was arguably by Accies goalkeeper Tomas Cerny who, at point-blank range, stopped White’s effort to give The Spiders late hope.
In the end, though, 2-0 was a fair result and the Lanarkshire club march into the second round of the competition.
Queen’s Park: Parry, McGinn, Meggatt, Little, Brough, Gallacher, Watt (Burns 74), D. Anderson, Daly, Urquhart, Smith
Subs: Bradley, Capuano, Quinn, Strain
Hamilton: Cerny, McAlister, Gillespie (Hendry 61), Hopkirk, Mensing, McLaughlin, G. Anderson, Crawford, Lyle (McLaren 61), Imrie, Kirkpatrick (Chambers 61)
Subs not used: Kilday, Hutton
Referee: Brian Colvin
Written by Neil Murray @ Hampden Park